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Golf’s Open Championship set for Northern Ireland return

The Open Championship will return to Northern Ireland in 2019, 68 years after the country last hosted the major golf tournament.

The 148th Open will take place at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim from July 18-21, 2019.

It will be just the second time the event has been staged outside of England and Scotland, with Royal Portrush also hosting The Open in 1951.

“We know there is great anticipation throughout Ireland at the prospect of welcoming the world’s top golfers and it promises to be a hugely memorable week,” said Peter Unsworth, chairman of the R&A Championship Committee, which organises The Open.

It is anticipated that the 2019 Open Championship will be the biggest sporting event ever to be held in Northern Ireland, with more than £70m (€95m/$108m) expected to be generated for the country’s economy.

Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, added: “The potential economic return of £70m makes The Open coming to Portrush in 2019 a success story not just for golf and golfing fans but our entire economy.

“For our part we stand ready to help ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place and ensure the focus remains on the golf course.”

Before returning to Northern Ireland, the championship will be held at Royal Troon, Scotland in 2016, Royal Birkdale, England in 2017 and Carnoustie, Scotland in 2018. Zach Johnson (pictured) of the United States won the most recent edition of the tournament, which was staged this year at St Andrews in Scotland from July 16-20.